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There are many pressures on water resources, including those arising from human activities. Additionally driving forces arise from the natural variability in water availability and climate change.

Recent history has shown that extreme hydrological events as flood and droughts can create additional stress on water supplies essential for human and ecosystem health.

Floods and droughts are extreme events in the hydrological cycle, which describes how water moves throughout the earth in different ways and at different rates.

Did you know?

A river basin is the land area, from which rainfall drains into a certain river. 

The Danube river basin covers ~8% of Europe.

This term is also used in the EU Water Framework Directive, specifying that a river basin holds even an outlet to sea.

The most vivid image of the water cycle is in the evaporation of water from the ocean, which forms clouds. These clouds drift over the land and produce rain. The rainwater flows into lakes, rivers, or aquifers. The water in lakes, rivers, and aquifers then either evaporates back to the atmosphere or eventually flows back to the ocean, completing a cycle.


A flood is an overflow of water, an expanse of water submerging land, a deluge. Flooding and its impactsn are often influenced by a combination of natural factors and human interference.  Floods are the most common natural desasters in Europe and, in term sof economic damage, the most costly ones.


A drought is an extended period where water availability falls below the statistical requirements for a region. Also drought is not a purely physical phenomenon, but  an interplay between natural water availability and human demands for water supply. Since the demand for European water resources is increasing, also the pressure on water continues to grow and Europe is becoming increasingly vulnerable to the effects of  periods without rainfall.

Flood Action Programme (PDF, 1.9MB)

Action Programme for Sustainable Flood Protection in the Danube River Basin

Deutsche Übersetzung (PDF, 502.3KB)

Aktionsprogramm für nachhaltigen Hochwasserschutz im Einzugsgebiet der Donau


The information contained in the ICPDR website is intended to enhance public access to information about the ICPDR and the Danube River. The information is correct to the best of the knowledge of the ICPDR Secretariat. If errors are brought to our attention we will try to correct them.
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Last Edit: 2008-07-11